The great diversion
Andre Damon, WSWS, Oct 15 2016
With media coverage in Pindostan dominated by allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trump, one would never know that Pindostan is on the verge of a massive escalation of operations against Syria and is preparing for a military conflict with Russia. Friday’s wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s alleged sexual transgressions featured a speech full of moralistic outrage by First Lady Michelle Obama, a veteran of the cutthroat Chicago political machine. She melodramatically declared that a leaked tape of Trump making lewd remarks had “shaken me to my core.” The entire media spectacle serves as a smokescreen for far-reaching plans by the present administration, with the full support of Hillary Clinton, to implement deeply unpopular policies without public scrutiny. It serves as well to bury any discussion of substantive issues in the election campaign. Behind a nearly total media blackout, the NSC held a closed-door meeting Friday to review the Pindo military campaign in Iraq and Syria. The only major media advance report on the meeting, carried by Reuters on Thursday and then quickly dropped, noted that Pindo boxtops were weighing “airstrikes on Syrian military bases, munitions depots or radar and anti-aircraft bases.” Asked about the meeting at a press conference Friday afternoon, deputy White House spox E Schultz refused to even acknowledge that it was taking place. Within hours of the meeting of Obama’s war council, NBC Nightly News led its Friday broadcast with an exclusive report, citing unnamed intelligence officials:
(The White House is) contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the Pindosai presidential election.
This vague report sets a bellicose tone for scheduled discussions between Jackass Kerry and Sergei Lavrov on Saturday. Britain, France and Germany are agitating for military escalation. On Tuesday, UK Foreign Secretary B Johnson declared Russia a “pariah” state and called for anti-Assad and anti-Russian demonstrations at the Russian Embassy in London. Johnson is hosting a meeting with Jackass and European foreign ministers on Sunday to consider “more kinetic options, the military options” in the war in Syria. Russian officials, for their part, threatened retaliation for any Pindo strikes against Syrian government targets. Russian Defense Ministry spox Gen I Konashenkov said last week:
Any missile or airstrikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen. Russian air defense system crews are unlikely to have time to determine in a ‘straight line’ the exact flight paths of missiles and then who the warheads belong to. And all the illusions of amateurs about the existence of ‘invisible’ jets will face a disappointing reality.
Konashenkov’s reference to ‘invisible’ jets was a warning that the advanced Russian S-400 air defense systems are capable of downing fifth-generation stealth fighters such as the F-22 and F-35. Should Pindo airstrikes against Syrian targets lead to the downing of Pindo fighters by Russian forces, the White House will come under immense pressure to retaliate, potentially setting off a chain reaction that could result in the first use of nuclear weapons since WW2. In evident preparation for such an eventuality, Moscow sent nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to the Russian Baltic city of Kaliningrad on Oct 8. From Kaliningrad, the missiles can strike targets including NATO bases across Poland and the Baltic republics. Pointing to the dangers posed by these developments, deputy prime minister of Turkey N Kurtulmus warned this week:
If the war in Syria continues, Pindostan and Russia will come to a point of war. This proxy war has led the world to the brink of the beginning of a large regional or global war.
The war in Syria is just one flashpoint in what military strategists are increasingly warning will be an “inevitable” conflict with major military powers. Last month the Atlantic Council in Washington published a report titled The Future of the Army, which made clear that the Pentagon’s primary concern is preparing to fight “major and deadly” wars between “great powers,” entailing “heavy casualties” and “high levels of death and destruction.” At an Oct 4 meeting of the Association of the US Army in Washington, Army CoS Gen M Milley said war between Pindostan and global powers such as Russia and China was “almost guaranteed.” At the same conference, Gen W Hix, a top Army strategist, declared:
A conflict in the near future with a country like Russia or China would entail a level of violence that our armies have not seen a scale probably since Korea, if not in WW2.
These developments make it clear that the threat to humanity of a war between nuclear-armed powers is greater now than at any time since the height of the Cold War. The sharp escalation of military tensions recalls the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which nearly led to full-scale war between Pindostan and the Soviet Union. At that time, the press was eagerly following every detail of the showdown between Pindostan and the USSR, while the Kennedy administration was intently seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Now the White House, driven by an unstable domestic situation and growing threats to its global dominance, is taking increasingly reckless measures, while the press virtually ignores the danger of a clash between Pindostan and Russia. The media silence on the war threat is coupled with a drive led by the Clinton campaign, the Democrat Party and the NYT, to paint the fascistic Donald Trump as an agent of Putin. By framing the Nov 8 election as a struggle against Russian subversion and the “dictator” Putin, Hillary Clinton is seeking to create the conditions for claiming a popular mandate for military escalation and a confrontation with Russia should she capture the White House. Both big-business parties, despite their tactical differences, fully support the Pindo war drive, while the Libertarian and Green candidates are largely ignoring the war danger.
This from Ben Jennings in the Graun: